For the first time in almost five months, a Catholic priest who came to Weld County last August to protest nuclear weapons is out of jail.
Friends of Father Carl Kabat, 76, bonded him out of jail Monday — with his permission — after his first day of trial on misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and trespassing at a nuclear missile silo near New Raymer.
For a case involving misdemeanor charges, Monday's trial unfolded as if attorneys were dealing with more serious crimes in a weeklong case, taking almost an entire day, for example, to pick a jury of seven. Attorneys are objecting at the slightest misstep of the opposing table.
Both charges carry at most a year in jail upon conviction. If that happens, Kabat would get credit for the nearly five months he's already served.
The nature of the case, however, involves a breach of national security and a much broader concern of Catholic condemnation of nuclear weapons as a “crime against humanity.”
On Aug. 6 — the anniversary of the American bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 — Kabat drove from St. Louis to Colorado to protest nuclear weapons. He went to the N-8 missile silo of Colo. 14 west of New Raymer, hung up banners for his cause, cut a hole in the fence and went inside and prayed until he was arrested by authorities from Warren Air Force Base from Cheyenne. He's been in jail since that day, refusing to post bond to get out.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009